A Gift for Jamaica

A friend of mine, Lisa Lockwood, is a missionary in Jamaica with CSI Ministries.  Among other things, she picks up visiting teams from the airport (a 3 1/2 hour drive each way on rough winding roads driving on the left side of the road), plans and coordinates projects for the visiting teams, and meets with them for spiritual growth.

I asked Lisa about the celebration of Christmas in Jamaica and the traditions are surprisingly similar.  On Christmas Eve there is a traditional “grand market” day when all of the shops are open very late and many people go into town to shop.  It is quite crowded and festive throughout the night with music and food such as jerk chicken, pork, and soups being cooked on the street.  On Christmas Day, people will cook a big meal of roast beef, pork, pudding, and sorrel juice and spend time with their families, visit the elderly, and take food to those in need.  Christmas presents are usually opened in the morning.

On New Year’s Eve, there is a traditional Watch Night service at most churches.  Many people walk into town to hear Christian bands playing and buy food cooked on the street.  At midnight, people hug, dance, and wish each other New Year’s blessings as they celebrate the incoming year.

The Story the Little Christmas Tree Told is a story of gifts of love, a little pine tree and the birth of Jesus.  Through the sales of this book I can give a gift of love to Lisa.  Following the sales of the first printing, a portion of the proceeds was donated to Lisa’s ministry.  Lisa wrote me from Jamaica.  “I just love that the donation was from the sale of your children’s book.  That makes it even more special to me because of my work with children and because of all of the basic needs of the kids around here.  The money will be used to meet some of those basic needs.  Every day there are opportunities and this will enable us to assist families who truly live day to day.”

Gifts of love know no season.

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